One of the most challenging things for me in completing this project was that I was writing in the midst of my own trials. Being pregnant with my second child, I completed the draft eight days before my expected due date (so I was dealing with the discomforts of pregnancy as well as the lingering thought that any day could be it for going into labor). In addition, I had other kinds of conflicts going on that were affecting me emotionally and mentally. At times, it was hard to confirm if I had “the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart to stay” like the childhood song says I do.
To say that I felt hypocritical by writing about joy when I felt like I was struggling to retain mine is maybe an overstatement, but I did feel a little less experienced than I usually do when I work on writing projects. Perhaps “under-confident” is a better way to describe how I felt during this project. I share this because I want to emphasize the point that being joyful doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve got the giggles all the time. Joyfulness is about being content with God in all things. Even when things are less than ideal, we stay okay on the inside with God’s help, and we take steps to problem solve so that we can deal with the situations on the outside, with God’s guidance.
This life is a journey, with continual cycles of highs and lows. Enjoying the journey involves making a determination to never, ever let go of our contentment in the Lord. Having him in our life makes everything okay, and we can be assured that all the details will work out in the end because of God’s provident hand over us. Having God with us, through it all, is enough. We have everything we need in him, from strength to peace to joy, and he wants us to be completely dependent on him for what we need. May you accept your contentment in and dependence on God and thereby enter in to the joyful life. Enjoying the journey of living will be something you’ll be glad you did.